Recycle Craft: Soda Can Brooches

The Cuttlebug makes it easy!
The Cuttlebug makes it easy!

It’s amazing to me what the right tool can do for you- and in this case, the tool is the Cuttlebug! This little hand-cranked gem can help you transform old aluminum soda cans into cool, kitchy blooms that you can wear as pins!

For this craft, you will need:

The first thing to do is to deconstruct your soda can. Using a craft blade, slice into the can just below the neck. Using a sawing motion, slice off the top of the can. Then use your household scissors to cut down the length of the can. You’ll be surprised how thin that aluminum really is!

recycle crafts 2010 020

recycle crafts 2010 021

Once you get to the bottom, just cut around the can again to separate it from that hard “foot”. You’ll end up with a nice sheet of aluminum to use! Cut this piece in have length-wise.

Place one piece of your aluminum in your embossing folder and run it through your Cuttlebug machine. Repeat with the other piece. You’ll get something that looks like this:

recycledcraft3 001Now, if you like (which I do) you can color your aluminum with the alcohol-based Adirondack inks. They are the absolute BEST for adding color to non-porous surfaces– read the review of them HERE. If you are inking up your aluminum, dab on your colors as desired.

While they are drying, cut out some Foamies! Using the second-largest Scallop die, cut out a flower:

recycledcraft3 002

Foamies cut like butter!
Foamies cut like butter!

Now, using the largest and a “middle” size die- (you choose), run the aluminum through the machine and cut 2 scalloped flowers. You are going to be amazed at how easy it is….

Makes a great cut, no rough edges!
Makes a great cut, no rough edges!

Amost done….now, using your craft blade (and a protective mat or scrap cardboard underneath) make a little “X” in the middle of your large aluminum flower, the foamie flower, and the smaller aluminum flower. Use your flower brand to push through all of your layers, smallest to largest, and then open the prongs in the back to hold it all securely.

Using E-6000, glue on a pin back (or a strong magnet, if you prefer.)

Other options:

  • Color the center of your flower brad w/ a sharpie marker and use some paper glaze for shine and dimension, or add a drop of Stickles glitter glue.
  • Cut a smaller foamie flower and glue it on top of your flower brad and top with a rhinestone.
  • Add 4 or 5 layers to make your flower more fabulous!
  • Eliminate the foamies, and instead cut more soda aluminum. Alternate layers of “plain” aluminum with the printed sides to make it more obvious that your are using recycled aluminum.

recycledcraft3 005Have fun and happy crafting!

About Jenny

Jenny is the editor-in-chief and craft concierge for Craft Test Dummies. She can be contacted at crafttherapy at gmail dot com. Visit her craft blog at!


  1. Mary Jane says

    I am trying to get the correct order for stacking plates to use the soda can for a craft project with a butterfly die. I have seen mention of a Metal plate but have not been able to purchase one on the cuttlebug website. Please help

  2. Shelly says

    ps. hahaha ๐Ÿ˜‰ recycle anything I “can”. get it?! (sorry…bad joke! I didn’t get much sleep last night, as my college son and his buddy came home to surprise me @ 2:00 a.m. for Mother’s Day, and we sat up talking most of the night!) Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

  3. Jenny says

    This really looks very cool! I am an avid crafter myself and enjoy using recycled products. There are some really cool projects, cards, home decor items, jewelry and embellishments featured on Maybe you’ll like those too!

  4. Megan says

    Has anyone tried to do this with a Cricut? I don’t have a cuttlebug :( But I do have the Cricut Expression which is supposed to be able to cut thin sheets of metal…

    • says

      Megan- to be honest, I haven’t tried it…but I can’t imagine it would work well. First of all, the metal is shiny and slick and I can see it having problems adhering to the sticky mat. And secondly I bet it would dull your blade pretty quick. I have an Expression, too- and love it- but the Cuttlebug really is better for certain things. (And vice versa, of course!) Sadly, one tool just won’t do it all! HTH, Jenny


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